Dirk Kuyt might not be the first name on a Liverpool team sheet, but his consistent displays have always brought a very respectable goal return whether playing up front or wide right.
He is therefore worth consideration when looking for goalscorers for Wolverhampton Wanderers’ visit to Anfield today.
The arrival of Wolves will have Liverpool fans shuddering as memories of last year’s abysmal 1-0 home reverse come flooding back, but even consecutive league defeats can’t mask the fact the Reds are a different proposition this season and with a home win probable, I’ll look to the Reds for my goalscorers and in particular Dutchman Kuyt.
Often overshadowed by the star names, Kuyt was nonetheless Liverpool’s top scorer last season with 15 goals in all competitions, 13 of which came in the league.
The Dutchmen scored in eight of the 14 league games Kenny Dalglish oversaw after taking over from Roy Hodgson, five of those coming at Anfield, and both the 11/2 for him to open the scoring and the 6/5 for him to strike at anytime offer a good alternative to the obvious call of Luis Suarez.
Suarez is undoubtedly Liverpool’s main man, but the 3/1 first goalscorer and 3/4 anytime odds are a bit on the short side for someone who has yet to turn scintillating performances into regular goals – the Uruguayan has scored just six times since his January move, and Kuyt, who opened his season’s account in Wednesday’s 2-1 win at Brighton, represents better value, especially as he is likely to be on penalty duty.
Interestingly, new 6ft 6in defender Sebastian Coates had a very good scoring record at former club Nacional – he scored eight goals in 55 games from centre back – and at 5/1 anytime may be worth a small play if selected.
As for Wolves, an excellent opening fortnight has given way to some lacklustre displays, and for all their varying options upfront (Kevin Doyle, Steven Fletcher, Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, Sam Vokes) they remain too shot-shy, especially away from home, to back with any conviction.
Wolves scored just 16 goals away from home last season (only Stoke and Newcastle scored fewer) and they failed to score in ten away games, a divisional high.
At 5/2 anytime, Fletcher always has a goal in him – he got ten in 29 in the Premier League last season – but my preference would be for Jamie O’Hara at bigger odds of 9/2.
The former Tottenham man has a lovely left foot and is always a threat from set pieces and long range. He scored three times last season for Wolves after signing in January.
A word of warning, though: the six Premier League games between the clubs have produced just nine goals in total – three of those coming in Liverpool’s 3-0 win at Molineux in January – so recent history suggests a goal-fest is not in the offing.
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